Over 1500 Kilifi county govt casual workers protest over pay

Justin Mangi, the casual head addresses journalists in Kilifi during peaceful demonstrations. PHOTO: DAVID NGUMBAO.

Kilifi, KENYA: More than 1,500 casual workers in Kilifi county government have demonstrated over poor delayed wages and lack of permanent work contracts.

The casuals said on Monday that despite having worked in the county government since its inception in 2013, they have never been considered for permanent employment, instead the government has been employing outsiders.

According to Pascal Kahindi, a former head of accounts in the department of Public service, he was laid off after questioning the system of employment in the county government.

“I worked for two years as the head of accounts in the department of public service as a casual, when jobs were advertised I applied but was not considered,” said Kahindi.

“When I tried to question the County secretary Owen Baya, he referred me to the department chief officer who referred me again to the department director. Later on I was laid off ,” reckoned Kahindi.

According to Justin Mangi, the casuals head, the county government has been employing outsiders in the basis of ‘who one knows and not what one knows’.

He said he was astonished that none of the casuals was considered in the recent employment of workers where 60 vacancies were advertised.

“We have been taken for granted for quite some time now, and the county government have been employing other people, leaving us hustling with our degrees,” said Mangi.

He said the county government has been scraping from their wages NHIF and NSSF but the funds are nowhere to found as it does not reach the institutions.

“They have been deducting NHIF and NSSF from our wages but nothing is credited on our accounts,” said Mangi.

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They vowed to continue the demonstrations until there cry is listened to.

Efforts to get the side of the county government proved futile, as county secretary Owen Baya was not willing to talk to journalists.